Crumlin United captain Thomas Hyland has revenge on his mind after the LSL Sunday Senior champions were paired with Malahide United in the draw for the first round of the FAI Cup.
While Crumlin were crowned league and Metro Cup champions this season, they surrendered their grip on the Charlie Cahill Cup when Malahide denied them a third win on the bounce on penalties.
So there’s a little of a grudge match about what will be the season’s curtain-raiser as the Crumlin boys look to get one over on the side that denied them a treble.
“We’ve had a bit of history with Malahide – they beat us in a cup final on penalties in the season just gone,” Hyland told the Dublin Gazette.
“I think we owe them. We’re happy to get a non-league team. It gives us a good chance to get into the next round and a home draw is obviously massive.
“If you don’t get non-league team, like ourselves, you want a big team. There’s a big gap in whether we got Shamrock Rovers or Dundalk, or we take a team we fancy our chances against.
“Before the draw was even made, we were talking about Malahide, saying they’re going to be one of the dark horses in our league this season. It’s a tough draw.
“We’re happy we got the home draw but they are a very good side. They’ve one or two players and they’ll definitely be challenging in our league.
“They’re a top side to play against. We’re not going to be too confident going in, but happy at the same time.”
Last season was one of unprecedented success for Martin Loughran’s side as they went the entire league campaign unbeaten and reached three finals.
While two of those – the Charlie Cahill and the FAI Intermediate Cup at the Aviva Stadium in May – ended in defeat, Hyland says there are far more positives than regrets about the season.
“It finished well because we won our last game and that made it two trophies for the season. If we’re going to be greedy I think we can say we wanted all four.
We lost one game in 90 minutes over the season, we were unbeaten in the league, so we can’t ask for any more. Looking at the season overall, it was very successful so we’re very confident.
“We expect to have the same squad [for next season] and even add to it.
“The success we had last season, players are obviously going to be attracted to coming to us. It’s looking on the up again.”
Elsewhere, Killester Donnycarney will also face fellow LSL opposition as Gary Howlett’s side, who finished second behind Crumlin, are set to face Lucan United.
St Patrick’s Athletic were drawn at home to Bray while arguably the tie of the round will see Bohemians host future shared tenants and top of the First Division Shelbourne to Dalymount Park.